You wanna know what love is?

This post is a bit selfish – it’s not really for anyone but me and my amazing partner, Hannah Katharine Anthony. But if leading by example is good, then loving by example must be even better.

Today is our fourth anniversary. Some say there is nothing significant about four years, it’s just another year gone by. But when you’re married to someone like her, you know that every second you are together is indescribable, and that every second apart is like dying a thousand deaths – even when you don’t want to admit it.

I know I don’t say it enough in public spaces, but today I have to. You see I’m full of love today for so many reasons. Even though I’m away from my wife today on our anniversary, it is because I’m doing something else I love. Tomorrow is “Day 0” of the LeaderShape Institute, and I have the privilege and honor of leading here at the University of Cincinnati. For those who may think its weird that I’m spending time away from my wife during our anniversary, or for those who may think I’ll be in the dog house because of this; you don’t know the extent of my wife’s love. So if you’re looking for love, or you’ve ever wondered what it is, let me help you out – as I have one of the best teachers around:

Love is…

– seeing the best in someone who puts up their worse on a regular basis

– loving in spite of…period

– doing something, anything, to make your partner happy

– sacrifice, and communication, and pain

– being vulnerable; more vulnerable than you’ve ever been before

– putting up with your exact opposite, and never once complaining about who they are

– selfless, and caring, and so patient

All of these things embody the person I married four years ago, and there is nothing at all I would change about her, who she is, what she does, or how she loves. She is perfect in almost every way. Her only fault may be her unwavering commitment to me. So if it’s not clear by now, I’m going to let Ray Charles speak for me about my best friend in his song Talkin’ ‘Bout You:

Who is my friend, when all friends are gone
You always defend me, if I’m right or wrong
Who knows how to love me, in my way
Who’s always there, every night and day

Who is the sugar in my tea
When I’m in trouble, who sees about me
I’m talkin’ ’bout you, I do mean you

I thank God for you Hannah, and need to remember to do it more. I love you – and it wouldn’t be an anniversary without a few musical selections for your listening pleasure. I’ll always be by your side, and you are truly the love of my life. Happy Anniversary!

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